The decision by the British government to discontinue funding the investigation of the majority of the 2,000 unsolved killings from Northern Ireland’s Troubles is shocking but hardly surprising.
The policy contradicts an agreement made with the Irish Government and Northern Ireland’s parties during what were called the Stormont House negotiations.
Under the new regime, an “independent body” will assess if there is new compelling evidence and a realistic prospect of prosecution.
If not, the investigation will stop and, once cases have been considered, they will not be re-investigated.
Families, victims’ organisations will be alarmed at the announcement by the new Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis.
Announcing the change, he said: ‘We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our Armed Forces for their service in Northern Ireland.
That’s why these proposals deliver on our promise to protect veterans from vexatious claims.”
Any Irish government – current or future – should keep this decision in mind in terms of Brexit negotiations and realise that the Boris Johnson administratilon cannot be trusted.